PNT day 65 – Elwha River Trail II


Mary’s Falls Camp (1089.3) to Olympic Hot Springs Rd Trailhead (1100.8)

11.5 miles + 2 miles to alternate Trailhead

Adventure Muffin had left camp well before me. In the morning I only saw the remains of his campfire – he used wood fires for cooking – and looking at the mess I thought this wasn’t Leave no Trace at all. Well…

I hit the trail and started hiking. It was quite a bit of up and down until I arrived eventually at the Whiskey Bend trailhead. Looking at locked trash cans and a locked bathroom I was wondering what I paid 8 Dollar per night for. Compared to Glacier the Olympics National Park didn’t seem to be in a good shape regarding its amenities for campers and hikers.

From Whiskey Bend I had another four miles on a forest road until I would get to the Ranger Station. Half way I bumped into Enigma – another PNT hiker I knew from his comments on the navigation app. We chatted for a while and he told me that he finished the trail a few days ago and was now backtracking, maybe until Oroville. There’s some crazy people out there!

After a while we said goodbye and I knew now that the section along the Wilderness Coast wouldn’t be as easy as I wanted it to be. Another couple of miles and I stood in front of the closed Ranger Station. Bathroom locked as well. Same questions…

It was roughly another couple of miles along Olympic Hot Springs Road and a bypass trail – due to a big washout – until I finally reached the trailhead with car park. From there I wanted to hitch into Port Angeles. Not many cars took off that early in the afternoon and so I started walking down the road towards Highway 101. Another car passed me and stopped and a Chinese family gave me a ride to the grocery store Safeway of Port Angeles. Two unexpected nights in town were ahead of me…

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